With the start of college football season just a couple months away, it’s about time for Boston College fans to begin a mad ticket hunt for the upcoming Notre Dame game at Fenway Park, which, for many, will require literally winning the lottery (if anyone has an available seat or maybe a way to rig the lottery, please DM me on Twitter).
On Thursday, BC’s athletic department announced something that may take BC fans’ minds off the Fenway mania for a bit: the first game of the Eagles’ 2016 season will take place the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, the same place that played host to a game between Notre Dame and Navy in 2012 and BC Athletics’ Snapchat story over the weekend.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Eagles will have played a game of international pigskin. BC took part in the first American college football game played in Ireland back in 1988, when it defeated Army 38-24. Ten years prior, the Eagles took on Temple in Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. (Why? Who knows…)
So as BC heads abroad in 2016, here are some more locations the Eagles just might consider hitting in the years to come:
Wrigley Field — With everyone buzzing about the game at Fenway, what better than to have a rematch at America’s other ancient, classic ballpark? The Restore Wrigley project is well underway, meaning that the 101-year-old field should be in better shape than it has been in decades. Northwestern last played a game at Wrigley in 2010, and is planning on playing up to five more in the future, so the grounds crew should be comfortable with the setup by then. Naturally Notre Dame would still be the home team, because apparently the Irish get whatever they want.
Vatican City — Pope Francis isn’t scheduled to include Boston on his trip to the States this fall, even if BC has one of the greatest concentrations of Jesuits in the world. Fear not—if the Pope won’t come to us, we can go to him! True, there isn’t much room to work with in 110 acres (BC’s main campus is 130 acres, for reference), but with the help of God and the Swiss Guard, anything’s possible in the world’s smallest state.
Vancouver — It seems logical that the best place for BC to play would be BC Place—the home of the British Columbia Lions, a professional team in the CFL. BC Place has room for over 10,000 more people than Alumni Stadium, meaning the BC athletic department might have to dig up some more “Beat Providence!” T-shirts to fill the seats.
Brazil — There may be no hotter football locale so far this decade than Brazil—futebol, that is—but the country is on the back end of its 15 minutes of fame. Now that the World Cup is over, Brazil just has the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to make some use of its dozen spruced up stadiums, and then what? As long as BC’s advertising department can be intentionally ambiguous in advertising the game, it should be able to take advantage of the language barrier and attract football and futebol fans alike.
Los Angeles — A trip to the City of Angels would allow Steve Addazio to show his gang of Dudes the hometown of “the Dude” himself—Jeffrey Lebowski. Although Jeff Bridges or anyone else from The Big Lebowski probably wouldn’t be around to make an appearance, the team should get enough inspiration to pick up another upset win against the University of Southern California by watching the film a couple times on the flight there.
I’ve also heard it’s warm there.
Moron Mountain — While Space Jam was terrific, no one wants a sequel less than I do, especially if Lebron James is the one to reprise Michael Jordan’s legendary role. If it must be done, Bugs Bunny would likely need the help of more than a couple BC players to compete with the Mon-Stars in a football rematch. As long as we get to watch Bill Murray try and make small talk with Addazio, everyone wins.
(By the way, if you’ve never seen Space Jam’s official website, check it out. It hasn’t been updated since 1996. Actually.)
Singapore — OK, so I cheated and used Google for this one. But seriously, check it out. Yeah, it’s a floating field. True, this is currently set up as a soccer pitch, but it shouldn’t be too hard to equip the 394 by 272 foot Marina Bay Floating Platform with uprights, etc. Wikipedia was a little unclear about exactly how long this temporary field will be maintained, so BC should probably act fast for this one.
New Orleans — Has BC football ever won a National Championship? Kind of depends on whom you ask. BC’s website will tell you the grand tale of the 1940 Team of Destiny, which went undefeated and picked up a 19-13 Sugar Bowl victory against Tennessee. Go to the NCAA’s online page for Championship History, however, and you won’t find “Boston College” anywhere—Minnesota is listed as the only champion that year.
Regardless of what you believe, 1940 was still the greatest year in BC football history, and a return to Tulane Stadium could bring back the spirits of that team to fight for the Eagles. The only problem is the stadium was demolished in 1979-80. Maybe playing in the Superdome would be close enough?
Again, I’ve heard the fall temperatures are quite nice.
Miami — While we’re talking about down South, let’s not forgot about Miami, the holy ground where the venerable Doug Flutie completed his miraculous Hail Mary into the hands of the far-lesser-known Gerard Phelan. The Eagles last played Miami in 2012 and at Miami in 2011, but going more than two years without reminding the Hurricanes of the very relevant play that occurred 31 years ago is a travesty.
Perhaps more importantly, it hasn’t snowed in Miami in 38 years. Sign us up.
Alumni Stadium — I’m not talking about a different Alumni Stadium—140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, Mass. This may not seem very interesting or different, but at BC, you can’t even take a home field for granted. Last fall, the Newton Campus Field was rendered unusable for a good portion of the season, forcing both men’s and women’s soccer to play a combined 11 of 19 “home” games at Harvard, Babson, BU, Brandeis, and Newton North High School. Each spring, BC baseball must find alternate locations to play before its non-turf field dries about halfway through the season—this past spring included seven “home” games at Northborough, Mass. and three in Newark, Del. Other than the collapse of the “Bubble” that covers Alumni in the winter a couple years ago, the stadium seems to be in good shape to host BC home games not taking place almost 3,000 miles away in Europe … for now.